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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  April 12, 2014 4:13pm-4:31pm EDT

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>> you're watching booktv every weekend on c-span2. >> i think what we need is something akin to the grace commission during the reagan administration or the brac commission, the base realignment and closing commission during, i think, the clinton administration. an outside group with integrity, former members of congress -- no current elected politicians -- to come in and do a complete audit of government from top to bottom. every agency of government, juan, has a piece of legislation or a charter that created it. it has a purpose. be it's not fulfilling that purpose or not doing it within reasonable budget, it should be cut or eliminated. let's just take head start. i mean, this came in with the highest motivation. do you know, and i didn't until i researched it, there are now three head starts. there's early head starlet, there's enhanced head starlet, and there's regular head start. why do we have the other go? the first one wasn't working.
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why do we have third one? because the second one wasn't working. >> veteran cleanuppist cal thomas on fixing a broken washington tonight at 10 eastern and sunday night at 9. and immediately following "after words," a heritage foundation book party for mr. thomas. booktv every weekend on c-span2. >> booktv is on facebook and twitter. like and follow us for book industry news, booktv schedule updates, behind the scenes looks at author events and to interact with authors during live television programming. here are a few of booktv's posts from this past week. earlier this week we tweeted an article from politico about the june 10th release date of hillary clinton's memoir on her tenure at the state department. we also tweeted a new york times interview with former supreme court justice john paul stevens, author of the recently published "six amendments: how and why we should change the constitution."
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on facebook we posted news from the library of congress about authors attending this year's national book festival and an article from "the washington post" about how scanning text online is creating an alternative way of reading. follow us on twitter @booktv and like us on facebook, facebook.com/booktv for more news about the world of publishing and what's happening on booktv. >> regnery publisher marji ross talked to booktv about regnery's upcoming titles and the publishing house's new ownership during the political action conference held annually in washington d.c. >> joining us now on booktv is marji ross who is the publisher of regnery. first of all, who owns regnery now? >> guest: oh, thank you for asking that, we have a new owner. it's very exciting, we're now owned by salem communications.
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as you may know, they're a very big and powerful media company, mostly in radio. so they syndicate some of the biggest conservative talk show hosts including michael medved and hugh hewitt and mike gallagher and bill bennett, and they also own over a hundred radio stations across the country. and, of course, that's one of the key drivers for book sales especially in the conservative market is to get onto talk radio. so now we have this wonderful synergy. we're going to be working with all of our salem family to try to get the message out about our books.
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>> guest: build a new, powerful arm within the salem company. >> host: well, we wanted to ask you about some of the spring titles that you have coming out. >> guest: wonderful. >> host: i want to start with david -- [inaudible] what's this book about? >> guest: yes. "the twilight of abundance." this is a fascinating book. it's a book about natural resources, energy, but it's also a book about the haves and the have nots. and i don't mean the individuals within the country, i mean countries and even continents. a very interesting sort of megatrends book about what happens as we are entering a period, a sort of geo-period of scarcity, scarce for resources, harsher climate, energy battles and what that means for various countries and various continents. and his warning is that america really needs to rethink our
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whole energy policy and natural resource policy and even our food strategy as we enter this new period because while we are certainly the biggest of the first world countries, there's actually a risk that we could become a third world country if we don't martial our resources in a more strategic way. >> host: from your description, that doesn't sound like what we'd expect from a conservative author. >> guest: you know, it's very interesting. it is a little bit off the beaten track for us, but it's still very conservative fundamentally in that it advocates a smaller government, less regulation and more private enterprise, more innovation and more free market solutions to try -- as the best way to navigate the new realities. >> host: is this book out on the market now?
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>> guest: this book has just come out, and we are selling it, i think, starting on monday. >> host: another spring title, "hunting the president." >> guest: yes. this is really a fascinating book. this is by mel -- [inaudible] who's an expert, believe it or not, in assassinations. and he's written quite a great deal about the jfk assassination. but in covering that and researching that, he discovered that there have been dozens of attempts on presidents, most of which have gone unreported or uncovered or even hushed up to not frighten people because of the sinister nature of these. so we are timing this to come out in april when a lot of people, of course, talk about the lincoln assassination. but it's really a fascinating look at threats and plots and assassination attempts on presidents in the 20th century, most of which you've never heard of and how they were averted and
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how the secret service and other agencies help keep the president safe. >> host: "the people have spoken." >> guest: "the people have spoken, and they are wrong." that's what david harsanyi says. and this is, again, a very interesting, thoughtful, irreverent and provocative book about the challenges of a pure democracy. and what david argues is that we're not a pure democracy, we never were a democracy, we were a democratic republic and, in fact, as we go as people who don't understand that or don't even like the ideas of a republic go further and further down a pure democracy road, all kinds of unspended bad consequences -- unintended bad consequences occur. and all you have to do is look at some of the countries in the middle east where they, we sort of exported a pure democracy or the idea of a pure democracy
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where you don't always elect the people that you want or even the people who have the best interests of the populace at heart. and his argument is we have to return to the constitution, we have to return to a democratic republic which really puts more of a responsibility on individuals to be educated voters, to be engaged voters, to be involved in their communities because that's what the founding fathers had in mind. >> host: marji ross, we're here at the conservative political action conference, a lot of potential xop president -- gop president nominees are here speaking. >> guest: oh, yes. >> host: they'll probably be coming out with books as well. do those sell well? >> guest: sometimes they do, most of the time they don't. and we have all kinds of theories about why books by sitting politicians can be very difficult to sell including the fact that i think most of the
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general population and probably me included think that politicians have an agenda when they get in front of a microphone, right? and it's not necessarily something that's all that interesting to read about in a book. and, honestly, i can turn on tv, i can turn on c-span any day of the week and hear what all of the politicians have to say for free. i don't need to buy a book about it. but i make this particularly challenging to publish books with politicians, and every once in a while you have that really clear message and that really engaging author that is the exception to the rule. >> host: well, one of the books you're publishing this spring or this year is by rick santorum -- >> guest: right. >> host: potential presidential candidate. >> guest: he is. and, of course, he was a presidential contender last time around, and we felt and a lot of people, i hope, felt the same
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way that he had a message and was talking to a constituency that was really in many ways overlooked by some of the mainstream politicians, by both parties. and he became sort of the spokesperson for the working class, hard working fabric of the community voter and american and maybe not so much a voter anymore, somebody who feels ignored and probably stayed home in the 2012 election. these are the folks who, you know, are the high school basketball coach and the boy scout troop leader and the mom who organizes the charity auction for the church. the sort of fabric of our communities, but they're not the stars, they're not, you know, the high flying entrepreneurs who make millions by starting, you know, a high-tech company
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and selling it to one of the big folks in seattle or san francisco. and i think his message was that the folks in our communities are the backbone of our communities and backbone of our country, and both parties to a certain extent have forgotten about them. they don't represent them x they don't talk to them, they don't engage with them. and be yet their values -- and yet their values are very conservative, are fundamentally conservative and, frankly, it's an opportunity for the gop. that's what the book is about. >> host: dinesh d'souza. >> guest: yes. >> host: are his legal troubles, do they conflict at all with the book publishing? >> guest: well, it's funny you say that because he just found out, as you may know, he's going to trial. and, you know, i can't comment much on the legal issue, but it certainly seems to me, my opinion, that a case of targeting and harassment of
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someone who was very publicly against this administration. and i think he's going to possibly be talking about that a little bit in the book when it comes out. it's now scheduled for the first of june, and the book is called "america." what would we have done without her. and the point is america has stood for liberty and freedom and opportunity as a sort of shining city on the hill for centuries, and perhaps it no longer is able to stand for what it has always stood for for people around the world who want to come here and want to have an opportunity. and the danger is, according to dinesh, we're losing sight of those fundamental values that made us the place everyone wanted to come to including dinesh d'souza himself.
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>> host: just a quick preview with marji ross, publisher at regnery, of some of the titles coming out from that company this year. of you're watching booktv on c-span2. >> is there a nonfiction author or book you'd like to see featured on booktv? send us an e-mail at booktv@c-span.org or tweet us at twitter.com/booktv. >> actually, the film comes from the spanish cimarron, and at the beginning -- [inaudible] which has wandered off the farms and by with extension it was used for runaway slaves. so it was cimarron in spanish, marom in french, and it became maroon in english. now, what is interesting also is that even though maron is used
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and cimarron as any kind of runaway, then it became really used for people who settled in the woods, the swamps, the mountains. but in the united states maron was actually reserved for large -- [inaudible] communities of suriname and jamaica. and in the united states maroons were actually calls runaways simply or outliers. >> but these, normally when we think of runaway slaves, we think of people coming up to the north, getting to canada. but you're talking about people who established communities in the south. >> yes. so communities, also individuals, families who remained in the south, and they decided to leave -- to live in an autonomous way in the woods and in the swamps. >> now, how did you get
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interested in this subject? because it's a very interesting and unusual one, but not that many people have written about it in the united states. >> in the united states, yes. >> how did you get into it? >> i didn't start wanting to write a book, i wanted to really read books on those in the united states. i'd been reading a lot about the maroons in, you know, in have may ca, in brazil, in cuba, suriname, and i was looking for information on maroons in the -- [inaudible] i was interested in who they were, what they were doing, where they lived, and really i couldn't find anything. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> edison really was a plant scientist as well as interest in the other sciences, and the story is that he knew that it didn't freeze in fort myers. so a lot of the interests that he had here in this area were based on his love of plants. by the 1920s the united states
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was relying on foreign rubber, and we were headed into war. so at that point they decided the plant material and the process should be done in this country. edison, ford and firestone were traveling all over the world collecting plants and, in fact, had hundreds, thousands of people all over this country collecting plants and sending them back here to fort myers to his laboratory to find a source of plant material that could produce rubber efficiently, effectively, commercially. so the laboratory was put here because of that reason, because they could grow the plants here on site and then actually do the preliminary research on site. so it's a really exciting project. the laboratory was interesting for many reasons. one of them was that at that point in american history there was no patent process for plants, chemical patenting. so part of the reason why this lab was so important was that it
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caused the u.s. government to come forward with what was called the pat innocent -- pat innocent, the -- patent, the u.s. patent law which said if you invented something with plants and it was a process worthy of patenting, it was issued a patent. >> next weekend booktv and american history tv take a look at the history and literary life of fort myers, florida, including a stop at thomas edison's bo tan y'all research laboratory on c-span2 and 3. >> peter schuck argues that government is often ineffective because of structural flaws that plague both political parties. he says that by looking at government policies that have been effective, we can figure out how to improve the system as a whole. this is about an hour and 15 minutes. >> thank you, wally, and i'm

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